Reviewby Bamboo Dong,
Mobile Suit Gundam
Movie DVD 3: Encounter in Space
The war between the Federation and the Principality of Zeon is drawing to a climax, aided by the efforts of the Newtypes. Both sides are anxiously displaying their new mobile suits in an effort to claim victory. With millions of lives on the line, who will end up victorious?
In the last volume of the Gundam movie trilogy, viewers are able to finish the last section of the television series from which the movie was spliced. Released in the United States by Bandai, the movies are comprised of scenes from the series, mixed into a theatrical trilogy. Unfortunately, of the three movies, the third is possibly the worst. Featuring a collage of seemingly randomly chosen scenes, the movie is incoherent unless the viewer previously viewed the television series. New characters and weapons are thrown in without explanation or introduction, so viewers can only assume they are powerful through the fragments of dialogue that don't refer to a part already cut out. The third movie is deeply centered on the Newtypes and their abilities, but with all the capabilities of the pilots just abruptly inserted, all comprehension and understanding is left for the viewer to deal with. It feels as though the writers were trying to cram too much in too fast, and didn't have enough time to proofread through their finished product.
While the animation in Gundam is surprisingly good given the age of the series, the animators seem to have no concept of logic and physical laws at times. Simply, the forces of basic physics have no consistent basis in the animation. One moment, a character would drop an apple to the floor, which would hit with a thud, and then he would float to the ceiling the next moment as if gravity never existed in the chamber. Also, the punches thrown by the characters could only be described as kiddy slaps of the mildest kind. They were slow, flabby, and landed with a no sound effects, and never touched the other character's body. Viewers may be inclined to feel that the small inconsistencies make the animation almost painful to watch, as the logistics just make no sense whatsoever.
While the voice acting was done well, the subtitled release was not entirely a success. Oftentimes, there were lines that were left untranslated by Bandai, which might aggravate those viewers who are not blessed with the knowledge of the Japanese language. Also, the timing is off on some lines, where the text would appear long before the actual dialogue did, or vice versa. For the most part, however, the subtitled release is decent, and is a nice alternative to the dub-only release of the Gundam television series. Unfortunately, the movies are excruciatingly hard to understand without having seen the television series first, as the editing done leave the movie nothing but a mass of shredded script and randomness. The scenes are choppy and abrupt, with nothing but an inadequate narrator bridging the scenes together.
Altogether, the third Gundam movie was a disappointing one. The scenes were badly strewn together, and the resulting product is a movie with randomly appearing new characters and weaponry. Annoying are the numerous references made by the characters to events that happened in episodes that were cut out. Viewers who expected a Gundam saga of epic proportions will be sorely disheartened, as the movie falls far short of expectations. This, however, is the fault entirely of the Japanese producers that were in charge. Bandai themselves did a decent job, which deserves some commendation. If fans of the movies already have the first two DVDs, then perhaps purchasing the last one would be okay, if only to complete the set. If there are viewers who haven't yet purchased the previous disc and are looking to get the last one, also—don't be risky. It would be prudent to rent it for, as it's an acquired taste.
Overall (sub) : C-
Story : D-
Animation : C
Art : C
Music : C
+ The cover is really shiny...
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